US Ambassador to Vietnam Celebrates International Childrens Day

The US Ambassador to Vietnam visited the visually impaired in Vietnam
June 02, 2022 | 08:09

On the occasion of International Children's Day (June 1), US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper visited Vietnam And Friends Centre - a nonprofit in Hanoi, and recorded a story for the Open Road, Audio books Online Library sponsored by the US Embassy.

The US Ambassador to Vietnam Celebrated International Childrens Day
US Ambassador in Vietnam Marc E. Knapper celebrated International Childrens Day (June 1) by recording a story for the Open Road, Audio books Online Library. Snapshot from the video released by US embassy in Hanoi

Ambassador Knapper had an exchange with blind students studying at the center and read to them the story “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams.

As a parent, he understands very well how important it is for children to have access to literary works and to hear stories read, to help inspire imaginations as well as stories improve their knowledge and build their confidence.

He expressed his happiness to be a part of this project.

The ambassador also thanked everyone at the centre for their support, as well as their efforts for the visually impaired.

Vietnam and Friends is an NGO officially established in 2011, which is dedicated to support the disabled and the people in need, giving them necessary educational orientation in order to help them overcoming social barriers and have a better life in different projects such as One World One Language, Open Road, and Run2gether, according to information on the centre's website.

Of which, Open Road is an online audiobook library for the visually impaired in Vietnam.

Recognizing the need for an accessible wealth of education resources for academic and soft skills training, OPEN ROAD is working towards building an online audio books library, which would include not only textbooks, books and novels, but also articles and documents on visual impairment awareness, soft skills development and IT skills training in both Vietnamese and English.

Instead of having to use Braille textbooks which are expensive, heavy to carry around and often restricted in terms of access time and place where they can be used, audiobooks are the key to giving blind people the access to knowledge for personal and professional improvement anytime, anywhere.

The "Open Road" project, which has been implemented since September 2019, has received a lot of support and access from a large number of visually impaired people as well as participating volunteers.

A similar event aims to mark International Children’s Day and the start of the summer vacation also is being organized in Hanoi. A Japanese cultural event is being held at the Vietnam Women’s Museum in downtown Hanoi for kids.

Named “Welcome the summer with Japanese culture”, the event is also a lead-up to the 50th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations, aiming to enhance understanding of Japan’s distinctive culture and strengthen solidarity between the two countries.

It features a series of activities, including exhibitions of traditional Japanese dolls as well as Japan’s national dress the kimono, Ikebana floral arrangements and traditional toys as well as yukata costumes wearing, wagashi – a Japanese traditional sweet, and origami making.

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